Self-Managed Super Funds– Beyond Experience

Melbourne-based Rob Bourne has over 35 years of experience in superannuation and financial services. Rob was a Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) and running his own financial planning business, when he decided to take the University of Adelaide’s Professional Certificate in Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF). In his current role, Rob speaks to about 3,000 people a year about superannuation. “I work for one of the largest industry funds in Australia providing superannuation advice. Although the course was specific to SMSF, it was very relevant to my role, as everything behind SMSFs applies to superannuation in general. A high proportion of the legislation for SMSF also applies to ordinary superannuation.” Completing a Professional Certificate in SMSF has given Rob technical skills and an understanding of how to apply the relevant aspects of legislation. “Superannuation legislation can be quite complex for those outside the industry. Knowing the legislation helps me to provide technical advice to our members. I now have the confidence to understand the legislation and can pass that on that advice to clients.” While most students attending the course were knowledgeable in the area of superannuation, Rob says it was relevant regardless of your superannuation experience. “Different people would get different things out of it. It was good to sit in a classroom with people on a similar level. Many students were quite experienced – many had their own practices, such as accountants who wanted to upgrade their qualifications and technical experience.” ” For Rob the weekends went too quickly, as he found so much benefit from the classroom interaction and the content. As well as the classroom interaction, networking was also invaluable as Rob has stayed in contact with several graduates. Rob highly recommends the course to colleagues, and says it continues to prove relevant to his work today. “I found the tutors (Peter Hogan and Professor Ralf Zurbruegg) excellent and they provided an insight into a whole new area that I was lacking in. I recommend the course to those wanting a high level of education in SMSF or super in general.” So what was the most helpful element, considering Rob’s extensive experience? “The aspect I liked most was the interaction with fellow classmates during the weekend classes. The discussions during class times were most valuable, as were the expert tutors.” Rob was already familiar with much of the legislation but the Professional Certificate in SMSF was important to brush up on his understanding. Furthermore, for Rob, it wasn’t just learning about the legislation per se that was valuable, it was more the different strategies he could apply. “The course provided examples of how you can apply the legislation for use with different strategies. While reading the legislation and understanding it is important, you need to know how to apply it, and to put it into practice with different approaches.” And finally, what about Adelaide as a location? “Adelaide is a good place. I’d go over for the weekend class and often would extend my stay to take advantage of the lovely city.”

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